12 transformational community projects showcased at ‘Literacy Changes Lives’ event

FET for Communities/18.06.2024

The Adult Literacy For Life (ALL) Office, supported by SOLAS, is showcased transformational community projects funded through the 2023 ALL Collaboration and Innovation Fund on Monday, June 17th 2024,  at an event that brought learners, educators and community partners together to see the impact that effective cross-community collaboration can have to address unmet literacy needs across Ireland.

The ALL Office is also launched its new “Collaboration and Innovation Fund 2023 report” on then day, showcasing each of the 51 literacy-focused projects, funded through the 1 million euro Collaboration and Innovation Fund, that have empowered learners and communities with unmet literacy needs including reading, writing, maths and digital skills.

The event highlighted 12 inspiring initiatives addressing unmet literacy needs in local communities across Ireland, that provide good practice examples of cross-community collaboration between local education providers, libraries, hospitals, and not-for-profit groups to reach people with unmet literacy needs. The projects presented a flavour of some of the richness and breadth of literacy-focused initiatives made possible when literacy-focused partners, providers and communities come together. A space was also provided to hear success stories, share best practice, ask questions, and generate ideas for how literacy partners can collectively drive change by working together, with initiatives presented highlighting the power of effective partnership and demonstrating positive examples of what is possible over the coming period.

 Yvonne McKenna, Director of the Adult Literacy For Life Office said:

 “I am delighted to be here today to showcase some of the excellent literacy-focused initiatives funded through the 2023 ALL Collaboration and Innovation Fund. These projects have helped adults across Ireland build confidence with literacy, numeracy and digital literacy and demonstrate the transformational power that cross-community collaboration can have. Some of the great examples shown today include digital literacy learning ‘hubs’, improving numeracy through cookery and learning how to take better care of ourselves and others through better health literacy – to name just a few. All of the projects showcased help support the aims of the 10-year Adult Literacy for Life strategy to make Ireland a more inclusive and equal society.” 

 Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS said:

 “Literacy is an issue that will affect every adult in Ireland over the course of their lifetime, particularly when it comes to digital skills. Currently about 1 in 4 adults struggles with maths and almost 1 in 2 adults lack basic digital skills. The Collaboration and Innovation fund provides vital investment to cross-community projects that help to create literacy-friendly spaces, support learning, and reach people most affected by unmet literacy, including lone parents, members of the Traveller, Roma and refugee communities, persons with disabilities, older adults and the long-term unemployed. The Collaboration and Innovation Fund 2023 Report launched today highlights a diverse range of exceptional projects that support the Adult Literacy for Life strategy to enable better literacy for all. Congratulations to all of the excellent initiatives receiving their deserving recognition today, that will shape and inspire future innovation through the 2024 Collaboration and Innovation Fund. ”

The Collaboration and Innovation Fund supports projects and activities that enable adults to gain the necessary literacy, numeracy and digital literacy to fully engage in society and realise their potential. Funding can also be used to help organisations and services to become literacy-friendly and fully accessible to adults with unmet needs.

 A summary of all 2023 Collaboration and Innovation projects can be found at adultliteracyforlife.ie, and the report is available here.